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How To Negotiate The Salary For Your First Job Offer

  • 2nd Feb'22

Money can make the world go-'round, but people feel awkward negotiating salaries. You must understand that negotiating salary can help you afford the little things in life (like rent, car payments, and bills. When you feel like getting paid below your skills, it’s time to push past the awkwardness of the first salary negotiation. 

According to CareerBuilder, more than half (56%) of workers don't negotiate when given a job offer. And half (53%) of employers said they would be willing to negotiate first-time salaries. 

Let’s assume you get offered a starting salary of $40,000 (11% of that is $4,400) per year. So, if you stay in the same role for 2 years, you can earn an extra $8,800. In three years it’s $13,200.

Yes, salary negotiation is tricky. You need to analyze and consider every piece of data before making a move. If you risk aiming higher than industry standards, then there’s a chance of not getting shortlisted for a job.

But if you negotiate properly, it can help you gain thousands of dollars. Here are a few simple tips for negotiating salary offers.


1. Know Your Budget

Kate Dixon, a negotiation coach and author of "Pay Up: Unlocking Insider Secrets of Salary Negotiation," tells her clients to phrase the salary negotiation as collaborative. 

As a beginner, things are difficult when it comes to salary. Most people don’t have any idea about negotiating in their first full-time job. But this will take you a long way, so be smart. First, know your worth and negotiate better in your first full-time job. 

You must do complete research about companies and salaries before creating a budget. You can consider things like your current rent and loans, relocation costs if any, and other living expenses. However, the job offer must cover all these expenses. Stop guessing and make a detailed budget.


2. Understand Your Offer

If you have skills and experiences worth more than your job offer then it’s better to ask the company how they calculated your pay so that you can find whether all your skills and experiences are taken into account. If they’re not considering it, you can probably counter for better compensation.  

For instance, as a beginner, you might not have professional experience. But if you have done any internships with big companies and mastered entry-level skills it will help you to get shortlisted over other candidates who don’t have such experiences. 

That’s how you need to consider valuable experiences and improve your negotiation skills. If you don’t have any experience, then it’s advisable to take basic training.


3. Consider The Whole Offer

Job offers are not just about the salary you get. If your hiring manager throws out a specific salary, you need to know how to negotiate a salary offer. 

Asking for a salary hike without any proper answer can never help you out. If you feel the salary is low, just ask for the other perks being offered. All these things will help you to make good decisions. 

In job offers, most people neglect important things like tuition reimbursement, time off, and employer contributions for retirement savings. 

The fact is, just don’t consider the initial number and make a decision. Consider all these factors to get benefit in the long run. 


4. Your Job Location Matters 

When you're considering a job offer, think from the location perspective. An entry-level salary in California is different from an entry-level salary in a small town. 

You can check the average salary of different locations online. Analyze if you’re getting the initial average pay first and move forward. 

It's significant to look at the salaries of other entry-level workers in your industry. You can shortlist them based on your geographic location and ask for the offer more specifically.


5. Negotiate At The Right Time

Knowing when to negotiate a salary offer is also a smart strategy. Imagine you have given multiple interviews and secured many job offers. At this point, you can confidently attempt to negotiate the offer.

Speak with your HR representative and negotiate based on your education, accomplishments, skills, and potential. Try to figure out which company matches your demands and then stick to it. 


Practice Your Salary Pitch

If you practice well, your salary pitch will get what’s needed. A lot of people struggle to pitch for a salary with an employer smoothly. No professional help is mandatory, just practice with your friends, parents, and mentors. 

Once you've completed your research and compared all the criteria listed above you’re ready to negotiate. Just be confident and push your pitch perfectly.


Become A Better Employee

Understanding how to negotiate a salary offer is a skill. To get decent pay, one should negotiate by doing proper analysis. Put your experiences and skills in front of negotiating in the initial stages.

Recognize your value and ask what you deserve confidently. If you master the negotiating skills, you have very little to lose and possibly a lot to gain.


Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds to achieve their aspirations in careers and life. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.

Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.

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